Thursday, November 24, 2005

Candid yams and vegetarian dressing

Much to my delight, this has turned out to be one of the best Thanksgivings I have ever experienced. It has been relaxed and pleasant, with no arguments, no stress and lots of good food. The family and I bummed last evening and this morning away watching movies, and for once, our video picks did something other than provide a cheap laugh or some cool explosions. The pickings were slim at the video store yesterday, and I got In Good Company with Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace. I expected cheap age and scandalized father jokes. Instead I found a funny and sensitive move about finding an identity, a sense of meaning and friends in a world that wants to press people into narrowly defined images.

Our second movie was Stage Beauty which told the story of an actor famous for his portrayal of the women in Shakespeare's plays at the time when King James made it legal for women to act in the theater. The actor's dresser becomes the first famous actress of the day, and his entire life is devastated. He loses his profession, his status as a society toy, his lover (beautifully played by Ben Chaplin), and ultimately his sense of identity both as a man and a person. In reconnecting with his dresser as lover and acting coach, he finds both his talent to act, not just go through the motions of being a beautiful woman and his sense of worth. The cast is wonderful. Rupert Everett is delightfully outlandish as King James. Tom Wilkinson, whose quiet talent to inhabit a role always gets to me, plays the theater owner and its leading man in Othello. Claire Danes plays the rising actress who is only mimicking her former employer until they discover themselves through the play. The final play within the movie, the climax of Othello, is gripping. I've seen the play twice and both times was dissatisfied because the death scene was handled so wimpily. This had the anger, the violence and despair it was meant to hold. I can watch movies over and over but usually I need a break between viewings. This one I'll watch again tonight.

For lunch we went to my mother-in-law's, and the meal was big enough to fill the table and our bellies but relaxed and informal. She even made a pan full of cornbread dressing with no meat or meat broth, and my daughter got to eat the one dish that she was afraid she'd never have again, the one dish which gastronomically defines this holiday for her. No one was trying to have a trademarked, officially regulated Holiday, and that became how we found one. Afterwards, we sat around chatting and joking, with a lot of emphasis on my decidedly unsouthern way of saying candied yams, instead of everybody else's more relaxed version. The complaints and worries of the last few weeks disappeared from our conversation, and we came home full with a box full of leftovers. I got to take a deliciously long nap. The husband got to watch football without the womanchild's and my feminine interruptions, and the daughter spent her time listening to jazz and reading in her room.

I'm full, quiet, warm and content. Life is surprisingly rich with good things, and the gratitude which eluded me last night has come home. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. I hope your day was as good as mine.


Blogger ~~Kath~~ said...

Sounds like a fantastic day!

November 24, 2005 9:36 PM  
Blogger Sie said...

I'm so glad to hear you had an enjoyable holiday. Happy Thanksgivng!

November 24, 2005 10:05 PM  
Blogger Theresa Williams said...

That's really excellent, Cynthia. So glad all went well. We had a great day as well. (((hugs)))

November 24, 2005 10:40 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Sounds like a really good day! I very much enjoyed our own rather untraditional day, spent alone together at deer camp. Very relaxing.

November 24, 2005 11:31 PM  
Blogger IndigoSunMoon said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the holiday!

November 25, 2005 1:58 AM  
Blogger Solitary Dancer said...

Just found your new home. I love the title and the nice decorating you've done.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.


November 25, 2005 5:58 AM  
Blogger Judith HeartSong said...

you sound so happy... it makes me happy.

November 25, 2005 8:24 AM  
Blogger Nelle said...

Glad you hear you had such a nice relaxing day. My son is a Vegan and we do a few extra things for him to eat. We had a nice time but it's a lot more fun to go to someone else's and not have the clean up!

November 25, 2005 10:35 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

My Thanksgiving is even more complete afer reading your words.

November 25, 2005 4:27 PM  
Blogger dreaminglily said...

Oh that sounds good lol It was small here too. My parents and my grandma, that's all we had. Very relaxing.


November 26, 2005 11:17 AM  
Blogger Jod{i} said...

Cynthia, I do not know if it is the air or planetary alignment or just good karma going around, but the overall gist I am getting from all is this holiday was just serene and peaceful! So glad you and yours had a good day!

November 26, 2005 3:22 PM  
Anonymous healthy diet said...

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February 21, 2006 5:56 AM  

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